Friday, February 1, 2008


There are many references to religion in We, not just to Christianity and Judaism, but Paganism as well. As we talked about this in class I thought to read into how Christianity is portrayed in the text, because Christianity has the most references. These mainly regard the One State’s practices and how they resemble the ancients’ religious practices. The citizens gather in a large auditorium, sit and stand together, and remain quiet until it is their turn to speak, resembling a Christian mass.
Also the Benefactor mentions God when talking to D-503.

“And what about the most merciful Christian God, slowly roasting in the fires
of hell all those that would submit? Was He not an Executioner?...Yet-you
understand-this God was glorified for the ages as the God of love. Absurd? No,
on the contrary: it is testimony to the ineradicable wisdom of man, inscribed in

He also makes reference to Heaven.

“They longed for someone to tell them, once and for all, the meaning of
happiness, and then to bind them to it with a chain. What are we doing now, if
not this very thing? The ancient dream of paradise… ”Remember: those in paradise
no longer know desires, no longer know pity or love. There are only the blessed,
with their imaginations excised (this is the only reason they are
blessed)-angels, obedient slaves of God…”(214)

The Benefactor certainly knows the history of this “ancient religion”, and perhaps is intrigued by it. I believe that the Benefactor symbolizes God and the citizens of the One State are his “followers”, which would explain why they share some similar practices. I think the Benefactor, himself, wants to be as God was to the ancient people, powerful and respected.

1 comment:

Ellen M said...

I believe the Benefactor sees himself as a modern God. He definately knows about Christianity of the ancients. I think his intentions are good as he tries to maintain a heaven-like place in the One State. However, he does not shy away from being a violent God if it means maintaining "happiness" among his followers.